Overcast with clouds high above was the weather at Pembrey last weekend the 14th 15th October, much better weather than seen during the earlier visit of the year – this created promising conditions for the penultimate round of this year’s BRITISH TRUCK RACE CHAMPIONSHIP.
As the teams headed to Wales circuit for the eighth round, the race for the championship title in both classes was on arrival still mathematically open – both Ryan Smith and Mika Mäkinen needing only a handful of points each to secure both the 2017 championship titles.
The first race of the weekend saw the Division 2 trucks out on the circuit: At the start Luke Garrett took an early lead with Mika Mäkinen hot on his heels. However, towards the end of the race Luke Garrett’s truck suffered mechanical problems and the flying Finn; Mika Mäkinen went past to take the win, with his fellow countryman Sami Ojanen following close behind to take his first second place result of the season, the race also proved successful for Steven Powell who managed to avoid in this race his recent mechanical gremlins and finished the race in third place.
The first Division 1 race saw Ryan Smith on pole position on the grid with Stuart Oliver alongside on the front row in second and behind was Shane Brereton in third. The race was stable in terms of positions. Ryan Smith was eager to bag maximum points by the closing stages pulled out a comfortable lead and at the chequered flag, not even the five-second track limit penalty that Ryan received effected the race result.
The second Division 2 race was looking like another great result for Steven Powell and Sami Ojanen unfortunately one acquired mechanical problems and one a track penalty, Steven Powell finished at the back of the field with a burst turbo pipe, Sami Ojanen was excluded from the results for overtaking when warning flags were waved. The race win went to old the school participant Paul (Paddy Mc) McCumisky who took the race win, his first trip to the top step of the podium since 2004. Second place went to Brad Smith one of the many new comer this year who is starting to stamp his mark, the final step on the podium went to yet another truck race new comer Andrew Fulcher.
The second Division 1 race saw Michael Oliver and Jamie Anderson take the start from the front row, by mid-race the championship front running trucks made their way past, however, after some post-race discussions up in race control Mat Summerfield was declared the winner Ryan Smith took second place and another new comer Jamie Anderson took third.
The third Division 2 race, Tony Smith roared over the start line and into an early lead to then receive a time penalty for a false start, Steven Powell this time kept the wheels turning and took the early race lead and win, due to a red flag stoppage caused by Luke Garrett’s truck running hard into a tyre wall, Mika Mäkinen followed Steven Powell over the red flag finish line in second and Tony Smith with his ten second time penalty still managed to finish in third place.
Following a post-race tally up of championship points, Mika Mäkinen with his Cummins powered SISU was crowned the 2017 Division 2 BRITISH TRUCK RACE CHAMPION.
The third Division 1 race once again greatly entertained the bumper Pembrey crowds. Terry Gibbon had a text book start and managed an early lead in the race until mid-race when Ryan Smith, Shane Brereton and Stuart Oliver worked their way past. Ryan Smith took another win with Shane Brereton 2nd and Stuart Oliver 3rd.
The fourth and final Division 2 race of the day saw Adam Bint make a good start and Steve Powell advance two places in the first lap. Mika Mäkinen progressed forward quickly and by mid race was up into first place, with Tony Smith following him over the line and Adam Bint not too far behind the two leaders in third place.
The fourth and final Division 1 race of the weekend was a very short one, due to Ray Coleman and Shane Brereton’s trucks hitting hard together at the tight hatchets hairpin on the second lap and because of heavy barrier damage and the two stranded trucks the red flag came out to stop the race. Unfortunately, the BARC stewards decided it was time for an early bath for all and showing the chequered flag to the stationary trucks waiting on the grid and then deeming the one lap as a points-scoring race. Michael Oliver who was out in front leading the race at the showing of the red flag was panelised for a very strongly disputed out of position start, this giving Mat Summerfield the win followed by Jamie Anderson in second place and Dave Jenkins in third place.
After a weekend of the usual Pembrey all action truck race excitement Ryan Smith did not manage to score enough points to secure a second championship title, Stuart Oliver is the only contender that could mathematically spoil Ryan’s title chances, one thing is sure it will all be decided at Brands Hatch at the season fireworks finally on 4th and 5th of